Jack Baty

Director of Unspecified Services

Losing interest in organizing things

I'm tired of moving things around on my computers

Putting everything where it belongs has always been a pleasure for me. "Mise en place" and all that. I find comfort in knowing that a thing is where it should be and that I know where that is.

Recently, though, I've noticed that I dread deciding where that place should be. I've started to avoid my Monday morning routine of reviewing various inboxes and moving their contents into proper folders. The whole process has lost its luster.

I spent a few days recently reorganizing everything using the Johnny Decimal system. This was fun and helpful, but now I don't feel like dealing with it. The JD numbers only seem to get in the way. I'm not using it properly, probably, but any new file without an obvious place to go ends up sitting on my Desktop or wherever while I avoid dealing with it.

It came to a head this morning when I was cleaning out my DEVONthink inboxes. There were maybe 30 files that had nowhere to go. I couldn't decide where to put them. After staring at them for too long, I gave up and came here to whine about it.

I blame HowmTiddlyWiki, and Bear.

To add a note in any of the above apps, I just type the note. Tagging and linking are available, but optional. Bear and TiddlyWiki don't create a new file at all. Howm creates one but I don't have to care where it is or what it's called. I've grown to like this way of working. Bear has taught me to that using tags might be good enough.

With local LLMs getting faster and easier, I suspect that manually organizing files will be come less important. Let technology do it! 😁

I'm tired of organizing things. As someone who has always espoused the meticulous use of folders and consistent file names, I'm starting to feel like dumping everything together with a handful of tags and calling it good.